This is the sixth tranche of emails from the correspondence between various people in Plaid Cymru and myself, following a complaint about what I had written on the subject of the Ynys Môn by-election last year. For easy reference, I've put together the all the previous correspondence on this page, which I will keep updating as further emails are published.
From: Chris Franks
Sent: Saturday, 19 October 2013, 8:52am
To: Michael Haggett
It is my duty to inform you that the DMS Panel has considered the report of the investigating Officer and has concluded that there are grounds to convene a formal hearing into the complaints against you.
Accordingly arrangements are now in hand to convene a meeting of the Panel to be held on Monday 28 October 2013. The Hearing will be held at Ty Gwynfor, Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff. You are entitled to attend, present evidence both oral and written and also be represented at the Hearing. The same rights will be accorded to the complainant. Any written evidence should be presented by 5.00 pm Friday 16 October.
Please confirm that you have received this email.
The complaints made by Elin Jones AM against you are;
I can confirm that I am making my complaint against Michael Hagget, the author of the blog Syniadau, on the basis that the content of the blogs of July 20th, July 28th, July 30th and August 15th all included statements that were damaging to the public reputation of Plaid Cymru (Standing Order 3.1.iii). The blog can be found here: http://syniadau--buildinganindependentwales.blogspot.co.uk/
I have included here 3 sentences/paragraphs in particular that were damaging:
“We do not need dishonest politicians like Rhun ap Iorwerth. If he's elected on Thursday he will be a liability to Plaid Cymru for years to come, because he clearly isn't interested in Plaid's policies for Wales. He is a cuckoo who has duped his way into our nest in order to follow a private agenda of his own, or the agenda of a narrow interest group within the party that refuses to accept democratic decisions made by the membership as a whole.”
“If Rhun wants clarity, then we need to be absolutely clear that he is misleading people on this issue by telling blatant lies.”
“If Rhun ap Iorwerth is elected, it would be a tragedy for Plaid Cymru, for Ynys Môn and for Wales.”
You have indicated previously that you have a copy of the relevant Constitution and Standing Orders so I only include below the relevant clauses relating to the formal hearing
4.6 Where they resolve that there is a case to answer, they shall convene a formal hearing which will:
4.6i Receive and examine the report of the Investigating Officer
4.6ii Hear from and examine the evidence of the complainant(s) or
4.6iii Hear from and examine the evidence of the person(s) being the
subject of the complaint(s) or their representatives.
4.6iv Either party may submit written evidence which shall be received
4.7 The Panel will determine the outcome and dismiss the case, or alternatively impose appropriate sanction where culpability is established. This decision will usually be made and conveyed to all parties on the day of the formal hearing. However in exceptional circumstances the Hearing Panel may reserve judgement for further deliberation.
5.1 Sanctions that may be imposed may include, but are not limited to
5.1i Denial of an application for membership
5.1iii Formal written warning
5.1iv Instructions as to future conduct;
5.1v Suspension from membership for a period not exceeding 12 months;
5.1vi Exclusion from the Party.
5.2 In determining sanctions, the Hearing Panel shall consider whether the imposition of a sanction is necessary at all and, if so, whether a lesser sanction will suffice.
5.3 Resolution of culpability and determination of an appropriate sanction may be reached by majority decision within the Hearing Panel where unanimity is not achieved.
5.4 The Hearing Panel shall maintain a written record of its deliberations and findings.
Chair Membership, Discipline and Standards Panel